A Global Movement Towards a Better Future

350.org is a website that is trying to make a change towards the best. It is trying to create a solution for the entire world for having a better environment! It is creating a global movement to solve the climate crisis. The fuel that the world is burning is causing huge climate problems, and people around the globe are living with what their own hands have done. As development club members we’re also trying our best to spread awareness among people about the unhealthy environment that we’re all living in.

So, 350.org created a global awareness day on the 5th of May. The idea was that each country should take pictures demonstrating how the world has changed over the years, and the pictures should contain a dot, so on May 5th all of the dots can be connected. The idea was splendid, and our Development club was part of that action.

A week before May 5th, our club had a meeting in Mr. Kevin’s classroom. We were brainstorming through the whole session. We were divided into several groups so we could get as many ideas as possible. Each group had more than five ideas for the pictures. Some of them were rather impossible to make, still the ideas themselves were really creative. We thought of every change that is happening to Kurdistan because of the climate change, and we were trying to reflect them through the pictures. We actually discovered that the environmental effects that we witnessed over our life time are rather tremendous! Sandstorms, less rain, lower water levels, winter is much shorter, and many many more! We wanted to demonstrate most of our ideas into meaningful pictures, so people around the world would understand that a simple change can affect the entire globe.

On May 5th our club members gathered at our university, and even students who were not members in the club joined us. We started to take many great pictures, and the whole thing was a blast; we had more fun than we could have ever imagined. When we saw our picture on the 350.org website, we were all proud of what we did.

The Green Music and Arts Festival in Sulaimani, Iraq

Although the Green Music and Arts Festival was on the 20th of April, our work in the Development Club started weeks before that. We began by sharing what each of us had in mind for the games that we needed to build for the festival. Our ideas had to be simple but at the same time they had to be creative.

We all had amazing ideas. The games had to be made from recycled materials to fit with the environmental theme, so we looked around campus for spare wood, cardboard, and plastic. We built the games, painted them and the results were perfect. Mr. Kevin practiced some songs with his Guitar Club students and they translated some verses of the song “Imagine” by John Lennon into Kurdish.

On the festival’s day, we started the preparations early in the morning, and it was lots of fun to prepare for it. We even played some games during the preparations. Azadi Park, where the festival was held, was a really beautiful place, and it was an ideal spot for students and teachers alike to gather and enjoy their time.

There were three hosts for the festival including myself, and the performances were presented by the hosts in English, Kurdish, and Arabic to enhance the ability of the audience to culturally relate to the performances and make a sense of cultural unity among the people. During the festival there was an elocution contest among the students of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. They each presented the same environmentally themed Kurdish poem that was translated into English. It was a really creative event overall, and it showed the students’ talents from different aspects.

One of the things I really enjoyed was drawing the American, Kurdish, and Iraqi flags on children’s faces and on adult’s faces too. It highlighted the cultural unity that brought us all together for one cause: helping our environment.

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Visit to Hiwa Hospital

Written by Karzan Fadhil

Hiwa hospital is a cancer patients hospital established in Iraq-Sulaimani, which includes over four hundred children diagnosed with cancer. The hospital does not only include Kurdish children, but also it has accepted various children from different parts of Iraq with open arms. Today, a group of students from the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) organized a visit to the hospital, and gave the children many gifts. The trip was organized by Jwan Farhad, a student in the undergraduate program at AUIS. During the visit the  students met the children and closely talked with them to make them happy. For most of the students it was the first time to visit the hospital and see their hard circumstance, but ultimately during their discussions with the children’s mothers their eyes filled with tears, and they sympathized with children’s parents.

In the hospital, there were many children diagnosed with cancer at different ages, ranging from one-year-old to their early teens. The AUIS students met a group of approximately 35 children. The children’s mothers complained about the cost of medicines that sometimes there is the lack of medicines, so they have to buy them outside the hospital, and they are too expensive for them because many of them do not have a good financial situation.

Despite the fact that the children are terminally ill, they became happy when they were given the gifts, and their mothers smiled at their optimism, so AUIS students tried to wipe sadness off their faces as much as they could. At the end of our visit, we talked with Kak Nariman, an official at the hospital, about the patients’ conditions. He assured us that a few of them have hopes to be cured, but it is the matter of time. Also, he hoped that our visit would not be the last visit to the hospital. Finally, he expressed his thanks and appreciation towards AUIS students for their visit, and he thanked them for the initiative that they took.

Have you been involved in this project? Please feel free to rate this project using the stars below and leave specific comments so that projects like this one can become more meaningful over time.

Quick Update

It’s been a while since our last update.  We’ve had so many events over the past couple of months that we’ve barely had time to get back on our feet before the next arrives, let alone blog about it.  As a teaser, here is a video of the recent Green Music and Arts Festival we co-organized with Nature Iraq.  Special thanks to Martin Turner for putting together the video!

UNAMI meeting

AUIS‘ Development Club members met today with staff from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) about collaborating in the near future on ways to address developmental issues.

We discussed a lecture series on a number of relevant issues including women’s right, water rights etc involving branches of the UN, civil society groups and AUIS students.

Development Club

Written by Karzan Fadhil on January 31, 2012. The environmental issues have spread over almost all the countries, and they need to be resolved as soon as possible. In Iraq, also this occurred over time due to the predominant use of cars and the lack of the accurate environmental education in this region. The necessity of the environment and the instinct of finding a solution to protect the environment led to emerging Development Club and encouraging students to commence their work at Development Club to protect the environment through this beneficial club.

Development Club is a diverse club located in Iraq-Sulaimani that includes many eager students regardless of age, language, religion and different perspectives. The onset of this club’s work refers to March 2011, when students passionately wanted to spread awareness about the environmental issues and cared about the abatement of the pollution. This club has had roughly 50 members, and most of them are young adults, who have strong desires to serve their community through this club. The reason that students have joined this club and collaborated with each other is because this is the most appropriate place for them to use their ability and physical skills. In this club, students experience and encounter new things and take a huge role to protect the environment because they physically participate in the projects, and they are a major part of conducting the projects.

Development Club has had many distinct projects since its onset, and its projects reverberated among people, such as visiting NGOs, the climate action day, hosting a conference with the United Nation organizations, and now the commission of Development Club is working on a new project called “The Green Music and Art Festival” intends to spread awareness about the environmental education. In fact, the existence of this club is so necessary for this city and people; particularly young adults because this club prepares them to protect the environment from the ongoing issues and spread the awareness about the environmental protection. In sum, Development Club beside its function that aims to develop the society, it concentrates on the environmental education in Iraq, and hopes to increase the green areas to make its community a healthier, a better place to live.

Have you been involved in this project? Please feel free to rate this project using the stars below and leave specific comments so that projects like this one can become more meaningful over time.